Joe E. Jeffreys

Adjunct Instructor


BA, Wake Forest University
MFA, Stony Brook University
PhD, New York University

Joe E. Jeffreys is a drag historian, dramaturge, and video artist whose work has received funding from the Jerome Foundation.

He has published in academic journals including The Drama ReviewTheatre History Studies, and Women & Performance, essay anthologies including We Will Be Citizens: New Essays on Gay and Lesbian Theatre and Art, Glitter and Glitz: Mainstream Playwrights and Popular Theatre in 1920s America, encyclopedias and in the popular press including The Village VoiceOut, and The Advocate. Jeffreys has been interviewed about the art of drag by a wide range of media outlets including TimeThe New York TimesThe Guardian, the BBC, Entertainment TonightL’ObsVice and Food and Wine and featured as a talking head on the subject in documentaries including P.S. Burn This Letter Please, Ruminations and Miss Rose Wood.

Jeffreys teaches a wide range of Major Playwrights courses for the Drama Department including ones on Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, Eugene O’Neill, and Samuel Beckett and the Absurdists. He has led the department’s LGBTQ+ performance class for many years including a full semester devoted to examining RuPaul’s Drag Race and its Impact.

As a dramaturge Jeffreys worked on the world premiere of Tennessee William’s last full-length play, In Masks Outrageous and Austere, the NYC premiere of William’s Green Eyes, and Michael Baron’s Charles Ludlam bio inspired play The Whore of Sheridan Square. Recently Jeffreys served as a research consultant to Tina Landau and Tarell Alvin McCraney’s Steppenwolf production of their original work Ms. Blakk for President.

For the past decade Jeffreys has actively video documented the NYC drag scene and this work has screened internationally at festivals, museums and galleries including The Museum of Arts and Design and The Tate Modern. Samples of his video work can be seen at